Judicial Appointments Commission Act 2023

JurisdictionIreland
Year2023
CitationIR No. 33/2023


Judicial Appointments Commission Act 2023

2023 33

An Act to establish a body to be known as An Coimisiún um Cheapacháin Bhreithiúnacha or, in the English language, the Judicial Appointments Commission; to provide for the making of applications to that Commission for recommendation for appointment, or nomination for appointment or election, to judicial office in the State or outside the State; to amend and extend the qualification and eligibility requirements for appointment to judicial office; to provide for the publication, by the Commission, of a statement of selection procedures to be applied in considering applications and a statement of requisite knowledge, skills and attributes required by applicants seeking such recommendation; to provide for the making, by the Commission, of recommendations for such appointment or nomination to be based on merit; to provide for the aforementioned matters having regard to the recommendation of the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) that the system of selection, recommendation and promotion of judges target the appointments to the most qualified and suitable candidates in a transparent way, and having regard to Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)12 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States on judges: independence, efficiency and responsibilities adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 17 November 2010, under the terms of Article 15.b of the Statute of the Council of Europe; to provide for the establishment of a Judicial Appointments Commission Office; to dissolve the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board; to provide for expressions of interest in assignment to a particular district court district or circuit to be made by eligible judges to the President of the court concerned; to provide for the funding of the Commission and the Judicial Council by the Courts Service; and for those and other purposes to amend or repeal certain provisions of the Courts of Justice Act 1936, the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961, the Courts Act 1973, the Courts Act 1977, the Courts and Court Officers Act 1995, the Standards in Public Office Act 2001 and the Judicial Council Act 2019; and to provide for related matters.

[8 December 2023]

Be it enacted by the Oireachtas as follows:

S-1 Short title, collective citation and commencement

1 Short title, collective citation and commencement

(1) This Act may be cited as the Judicial Appointments Commission Act 2023.

(2) (a) Sections 63, 64 and 65 and the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Acts 1961 to 2021 may be cited as the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Acts 1961 to 2023.

(b)

Section 62 and the Courts of Justice Acts 1924 to 2019 may be cited together as the Courts of Justice Acts 1924 to 2023.

(3) This Act shall come into operation on such day or days as the Minister may, by order or orders appoint either generally or with reference to any particular purpose or provision and different days may be so appointed for different purposes or different provisions, and for the repeal of different provisions of the enactment effected by section 6.

S-2 Interpretation

2 Interpretation

(1) In this Act—

“Act of 1961” means the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961;

“Act of 1995” means the Courts and Court Officers Act 1995;

“Act of 2001” means the Standards in Public Office Act 2001;

“Act of 2014” means the Companies Act 2014;

“Act of 2018” means the Data Protection Act 2018;

“applicant” means a person who makes an application under section 43;

“Assembly of State Parties” means the Assembly of State Parties established under Article 112 of the Rome Statute;

“chairperson”, other than in section 23, means the chairperson of the Commission;

“Commission” has the meaning assigned to it by section 8(1);

“committee” means a committee of the Commission established under section 16;

“Committee of Ministers” means the Committee of Ministers established by Article 10(i) of the Statute of the Council of Europe done at London on the 5th day of May 1949;

“Data Protection Regulation” means Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 11 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation);

“Director” has the meaning assigned to it by section 36(1);

“diversity statement” means a diversity statement that stands published under section 28;

“eligible person” shall be construed in accordance with section 40;

“establishment day” shall be construed in accordance with section 7;

“European Convention on Human Rights” means the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms done at Rome on the 4th day of November 1950, as amended by—

(a)

Protocol No.11 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms done at Strasbourg on 11 May 1994,

(b)

Protocol No.14 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms done at Strasbourg on 13 May 2004, and

(c)

Protocol No.15 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms done at Strasbourg on 24 June 2013;

“European Court of Human Rights” means the Court established under Article 19 of the European Convention on Human Rights;

“International Criminal Court” means the Court established under Article 1 of the Rome Statute;

“judicial office” means the office of—

(a)

Chief Justice,

(b)

the President of the Court of Appeal, the President of the High Court, the President of the Circuit Court or the President of the District Court,

(c)

an ordinary judge of the Supreme Court, an ordinary judge of the Court of Appeal, an ordinary judge of the High Court or an ordinary judge of the Circuit Court,

(d)

a specialist judge of the Circuit Court,

(e)

a judge of the District Court,

(f)

a judge of the Court of Justice,

(g)

an Advocate-General of the Court of Justice,

(h)

a judge of the General Court,

(i)

a judge of the European Court of Human Rights, or

(j)

a judge of the International Criminal Court;

“judicial office in the State” means the office of—

(a)

Chief Justice,

(b)

the President of the Court of Appeal, the President of the High Court, the President of the Circuit Court or the President of the District Court,

(c)

an ordinary judge of the Supreme Court, an ordinary judge of the Court of Appeal, an ordinary judge of the High Court or an ordinary judge of the Circuit Court,

(d)

a specialist judge of the Circuit Court, or

(e)

a judge of the District Court;

“judicial office outside the State” means the office of—

(a)

a judge of the Court of Justice,

(b)

an Advocate-General of the Court of Justice,

(c)

a judge of the General Court,

(d)

a judge of the European Court of Human Rights, or

(e)

a judge of the International Criminal Court;

“judicial selection statement” has the meaning assigned to it by section 57(1);

“law officer” means a person employed in the service of the State where a condition for the employment of the person was that he or she was a practising barrister or a practising solicitor;

“lay member” means a lay person who is a member of the Commission;

“lay person” means a person who—

(a)

does not hold, and has never held, judicial office,

(b)

is not and never has been the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Chief State Solicitor or a law officer,

(c)

is not, and in the relevant period specified insubsection (2) for the purposes of this paragraph, was not, a practising barrister or a practising solicitor, and

(d)

does not hold or occupy, and has never held or occupied, an office or position in a place outside the State equivalent to an office or position referred to inparagraph (a) or (b) and is not, and in the relevant period specified in subsection (2) for the purposes of this paragraph, was not a solicitor or barrister practising in a jurisdiction outside the State in accordance with the law of that jurisdiction;

“Minister” means the Minister for Justice;

“Office” has the meaning assigned to it by section 35(1);

“personal data” has the same meaning as it has in the Data Protection Regulation;

“practising barrister” has the same meaning as it has in the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015;

“practising solicitor” has the same meaning as it has in the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015;

“processing” has the same meaning as it has in the Data Protection Regulation;

“requisite knowledge, skills and attributes” means the knowledge, skills, competencies, personal attributes and characteristics that a person must possess in order that he or she may be considered to be suitable for recommendation for appointment, or for nomination for appointment or election, to judicial office;

“Rome Statute” means the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court done at Rome on 17 July 1998;

“special categories of personal data” has the same meaning as it has in the Act of 2018;

“statement of requisite knowledge, skills and attributes” means the statement of requisite knowledge, skills and attributes which stands adopted by the Commission under section 57;

““statement of selection procedures” means the statement of selection procedures which stands adopted by the Commission under section 57;

“TFEU” means the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

“vetting disclosure” has the same meaning as it has in the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012.

(2) The relevant period for the purposes of paragraphs (c) and (d) of the definition of “lay person” in subsection (1) is the period of 5 years immediately preceding the latest date on which the person may apply to participate in a selection process held by the Public Appointments Service under section 13(1).

1 OJ No. L 119, 4.5.2016, p.1

S-3 References to recommendation for appointment and recommendation for nomination for appointment or election

3 References to recommendation for appointment and recommendation for nomination for appointment or election

3. In this...

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